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Why Does the New Reno Feel so Underwhelming?

League of Explorers are here to save Uldum and Reno Jackson is back in the form of Reno the Relicologist. He keeps his old stats and mana cost, but now he’s a gatling-wand wielding mage card. Unfortunately, his effect is nowhere near as exciting, and many players are expressing disappointment. But why does Reno feel so…meh?

He’s Not Unique

“We’re gonna be moderately well-off!”

The first problem with the feel of Reno the Relicologist’s effect is that it’s neither new nor exciting. Dealing random damage to minions is an effect we’ve seen many times before. Magic Dart Frog, Dyn-o-matic, Kaboom Bot, Blackguard and Volatile Elemental all have similar effects. And while cards like Meteorologist, Arcane Missiles and Cinderstorm can go face, the effect on the board is often just as powerful.

This couldn’t be more different than the original Reno. Sure, we’ve seen healing cards before, but never on the same massive asymmetrical scale. At the time of printing, he became the best Healing card yet seen. His unique level of healing made him indispensable for certain class strategies. Reno the Relicologist by contrast is just another Mage removal tool in a class overflowing with removal.

He’s Not Neutral

Another big dampener on the Reno hype is the fact that he’s Mage-only. Part of the magic of the original Reno was the unlimited possibilities he inspired. I have fond memories of hitting legend with a nonsensical but surprisingly effective Reno Warrior.

While the other Explorers give some incentive, it’s a shame not to have a reason to play highlander versions of Priest, Warrior, Shaman, Rogue, or Warlock. While we will see one additional highlander support card, it’s still unfortunate that the poster boy of Highlander will be limited to Mage only. Especially considering that the lore question of Reno being a Mage is shaky at best!

Low Power Level

Highlander is a steep price to pay for such an easily-accessible effect

Highlander is a massive restriction. Having only one copy of your class’s most powerful tools means your consistency plummets. Especially when you look at Mage’s current emphasis on reliable access to Conjurer’s Calling and Mana Cyclone.

In return, Reno the Relicologist grants you 10 random damage for 6 mana. Sure, it’s above the curve, but hardly too much better than Meteorologist. The beauty of the original Reno is that his health reset-switch made up for the damage typically took from your unreliable curve. And while Reno the Relicologist is a flexible clear that can act as AOE or single-target, this added flexibility doesn’t offset the flexibiltiy and utility lost from building a highlander deck.



Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.

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